Today's Big Stories

Sars sees record tax returns, Is it a Ponzi scheme?, Lead SA-GIBS on Mandela Day

Sars' tax season off to a high start with record number of returns seen

Heard on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: the South African Revenue Service (Sars) reported that over 171 000 tax returns were submitted on the first day of tax season – an increase of 5.7% from the previous year. Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane says that the high number of tax returns so far is more remarkable given the fact that the threshold for submitting income tax returns this year has increase from R250 000 to R350 000. Sars' group executive for escalation and support, Mark Kingon:

That's all taxes - VAT, customs, transfer duty and down to lots of other taxes that make that up. It's around R1,1 trillion, so it's a lot of money. (On increasing the ceiling for tax return submissions) last year it was R250 000, this years it's R350 000 per annum for people who have single salary employment for a full year, they've got no deductions to claim - it's where the employer has basically put the proper Pay As You Earn (PAYE) on their account, essentially, you don't have to submit if you earn less than R350 000.

How would you identify and avoid a Ponzi scheme?

Image: macedoniaonline.eu

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: following news that the online stokvel Wealth Hub had its five bank accounts frozen and declared illegal after suspicion that it was a Ponzi scheme, listeners phoned in raising alarm on another Ponzi scheme reportedly run by Chris Walker, called Kipi Investments. Deputy Executive Officer at the Financial Services Board, ​Caroline da Silva:

We were alerted partly through the media and also through customer complaints of customers who started failing and receiving their returns. It is a Ponzi scheme and when you ask how do customers know about whether their money is safe or if it's a Ponzi scheme, the first indicator for me is always - it sounds too good to be true. And they also rely on new investors all the time because they pay old investors out of new investors' money. The third thing which is very frustrating is they are very clever at taking advantage of regulatory arbitrage or finding regulatory gaps. (On stokvels) you should know that the Kipi scheme isn't a stokvel because stokvels are very limited to their invitation groups. We've been investigating Kipi and we have a lot of concerns about them and have put out media releases to the public warning that it is not a registered scheme and it is not regulated by any financial services board or by the Reserve Bank and the customers should be careful.

Lead SA, GIBS and UCT's GSB to provide leadership coaching for Mandela Day

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: an initiative targeting NGO's, business people and entrepreneurs that are invested in tackling some of South Africa's big social issues including literacy, healthcare and education amongst others, will be offered a unique opportunity linked to Mandela Day this year. In partnership with Lead SA, the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and UCT's Graduate School of Business will provide 67 minutes of one-on-one coaching with an expert to selected participants, discussing issues they are met with and providing some level of mentorship in leadership. GIBS' Head of Personal and Applied Learning, Alison Reid says they are looking to provide an advisory service and a thinking partnership which will be of assistance from a leadership perspective:

We see this initiative as putting heads together, quite literally - we're hoping to help NGOs who are working on some very critical social areas of challenge like literacy, healthcare, education, etcetera; making a real difference. So this is about packaging the organisation's challenges and helping them to work more efficiently, using coaching which is a thinking partnership and a process of helping them to think through those challenges, to help them lead better.

_To participate in this cost-free initiative, go to the Lead SA website here and apply

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